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The great pet debate—and the great answer

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09/08/2011

Years ago, when I started dating David, the man who would end up being my husband, I knew that if this was the real deal, pets would be the great debate in our relationship.

He always had pets growing up—everything from dogs and cats to turtles and birds. The dog he had as a young child, a lab named Hershey, lived a long and fulfilling 14 years and was beloved by David and his family until she passed away a couple years ago.

I had a goldfish. His name was Sammy (although whether or not he was a “he” was unconfirmed). Sammy actually lived for five years, though it seems I did nearly everything I could to kill him sooner—I didn’t feed him regularly, his bowl wasn’t cleaned nearly enough, and as you can guess, we rarely spent much time together. I’m horribly allergic to cats, slightly scared of dogs and pretty much every other potential pet (excluding fish, obviously) grosses me out.

David would always point out dogs he liked and suggest potential breeds for us to get for our first pet. Once he warmed me up to the idea of a dog, it never seemed that we saw eye-to-eye. My allergies kept us restricted to only hypoallergenic breeds, ruling out dogs like huskies, bulldogs, and all the other “manly breeds” that David so admired. And besides, I didn’t want a huge, scary dog. I wanted something cute and cuddly, preferable the size of a small handbag (that would perhaps fit in a large handbag). When I suggested a mini-poodle, a cockapoo or a bichon, I was swiftly rejected—according to him, the Friedmans would not own a tiny dog that would leave my husband feeling emasculated.

The years passed and every few months, the topic would come up, we would disagree once more, and it would be tabled. But then this summer, David graduated from business school at the end of June and has several months off before he starts work on Halloween (it’s ok to be jealous—I am).

We realized that now, more than ever, was the perfect time to get and train a dog, while he had so much time at home. So the debate resumed, this time with more research and deeper thought. Because of my allergies, adopting or rescuing a dog was not a viable option. We started researching breeds and breeders, and discovered that there was such a thing as medium-sized dogs, dogs that are not too girly or manly and options that we could both fall in love with.

And let me tell you—looking at pictures of puppies on the internet is quite possibly one of the greatest things it has to offer.

In the end, we settled on looking for labradoodles or goldendoodles. We both compromised—we wouldn’t be getting a dog that would fit in my purse, but we wouldn’t be getting a 70 plus pound dog either. She’d be hypoallergenic, but fun and cute without being yippy or goofy looking.

And when we visited the breeder, it didn’t take long to fall head over heels. Pictured below is the fruit of our compromise, the world’s cutest and most amazing puppy of all time (from the most biased blogger ever, but that’s neither here nor there), Kenzie.

The great pet debate photo 2 

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